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Interview: Death In Paradise
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
As a sprat, life was unstable and rough...around the age of 7 or 8, I had to go live with a family member to attend a better school because my previous surroundings weren't suitable at the time....I befriended a fellow classmate at the new school and one day he gave me a cassette of "Appetite for Destruction" and said " i had this, its my big brother's, he is going to kill me, but i wanted you to have this", I remember having to hide it like contraband just to listen to it...thats where it really started. Its scary to think what i would be doing today...I probably would be in jail or dead...but on the upside...i was always artistic and love reptiles...so maybe a herpetologist or artist.
What do you like to do when your not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to surf.. although i haven't been able to do it in a while and an official "kook"....I have some great friends in the Caribbean who are both professional aswell as soul surfers...Its always epic to be out there with them and see that there is much more to life than getting wasted and generally fucking up. I dabble in a bit of painting and tattooing also.....Altogether, there are always inspiring moments that arise from such experiences and friendships.
How long has your band been around?
Death in Paradise is a new band......after arriving in Europe, getting musicians together to play, record and keeping them as a unit was always tricky.....so it took a while..Now that my drummer from finland, hard hitting motherfucker Anton Aatamila is in the picture...we are ready for the world.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Currently we are based in Lisbon, Portugal, we rehearse next door to Anton's apartment, but i've been crashing in a cool town 2 hrs away north of the city, called Leiria (close to where all the songs have been recorded)....Portugal on the whole is amazingly rich in art and music...passionate people and historic by nature...I also love the fact that they have their own thing going altogether as a nation an industry...i do appreciate and love their culture and music....but it does not influence me that much musically, at least not yet.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
It was alot of things collectively in one....Where i am from, rock n roll artists and alternative artists literally have little or no future...you can be "the next big thing" and no one will know or discover you....you have little or no support...The majority of the population there are influenced by soca and jamaican music...but, as a scene, we hold onto each other...... "Death in Paradise" on that level was me taking it upon myself to do something for myself, my songs and where i would like to be...even if i die doing it. The other ways of looking at it is observing the world in general and how we sometimes see it crumbling before our very own eyes.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
haha...This is going to take me back to when i was asked to play guitar on my first US tour with the band "Orange Sky" supporting the album "Dat iz Voodoo"...Best show ever was 90 percent of the tour...coast to coast from NY to LA....the worst show....I think, it was somewhere in Florida?....we got to the show and wondered why the only attendance were the band and the bartenders... ....only to realize that the american band Hoobastank had a FREE show 2 blocks away....-- we played nevertheless though... i think me and the drummer tried to scale the fence to get into the show after because it had reached its capacity and they weren't letting anyone in.....
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
Before CBGB's was closed, i loved the real , dirty, intimate stage,. There are some stages i should know, but honestly cannot remember at the moment...and mostly in the US...I would love to play all the historic london and UK clubs (the small ones and the ones with a good capacity), Red Rocks Amphitheatre,the whisky and Catclub in LA, and any Big Festival Stage here in Europe...man...i know we would wet ourselves to get to play that world rock stage. I heard you have a good backyard to? we're there!
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Guns n Roses A Perfect Circle Queens of the Stone Age Deftones Placebo Black Sabbath Soundgarden Alice In Chains Highly Suspect Megadeth Stone temple Pilots Stabbing Westward Massive Attack Damien Marley Death in Paradise
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
If you enjoy playing, singing and just jamming for a hobbie...brilliant.... if you really want this and deep inside yourself you feel like you were born for this and cannot see much more avenues, stay true to yourself, don't comprimise, but prepare yourself for a life of ups and downs...always have real and supportive people around you if you can, who can be there in the dark times, times like these will come for sure, and alot of times you would be alone, it comes with the territory...its alot of sacrifice....it would also help to have a talent or skill, or as they say, something to always fall back on.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
don´t take people you love and close to, for granted.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Right now "closer", being Death in Paradise's first single, it´s on constant rotation, just because, its a milestone song....but the one that means the most to me so far would have to be the first song i ever wrote and recorded called"the sparrow" and it was performed by my band back in the day called "The Astral Garden" and on the EP "a recipe for thought".....it was the first time recording and working in a professional studio environment, getting radio play, people loving the song, the little dream of a song i wrote......and seeing the beautiful faces lit when we played it live. I do have some unrecorded songs that are extremely meaningful that i cannot wait to record and put out.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Anton loves "Metropolis" from the album and i have to admit...its damn fun to play...but because we are yet to promote the album, i believe the requested songs will come...i am sticking to rocking "closer" live
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I am constantly writing....sometimes i have guitar parts and ideas from late fucked up nights, sometimes i come up with a feeling to represent my emotions...i dont really rush to write...a line here..a line there...sometimes they write themselves...sometimes i take long walks....it always seem to come together ...then i take them to Anton ( drummer) and show the bassplayer and we take it from there, this is when the dynamics happen.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I am not in anyway political, driven to delusionally change the world in anyway musically.....this is just good ole rock n roll....good times, bad times to put it simply with a whole lotta attitude.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Luckily so far, there hasnt been any.....ask me that after our first major tour..haha
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
We look forward to putting out the album "Sacrificing The Goat", its about time this shit comes out and goes worldwide so we can do this....we really want to go on the road and hopefully end up in a lineup that you previously asked about....that would be immense....thank you.